Hagi replaces Rijkaard at Gala

Romanian football great Gheorge Hagi will replace Frank Rijkaard as coach of Turkish league giants Galatasaray, the club announced today.

The contract with Hagi, who won the UEFA Cup as a player with Galatasaray in 2000 and coached the team between 2004 and 2005, will be signed in Istanbul tomorrow, the statement said, without giving other details.

Media reports said Hagi, 45, had agreed to a one-and-a-half-year deal.

Former Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tugay Kerimoglu will be Hagi's assistant, the statement said.

Galatasaray yesterday announced they had ended the contract of coach Rijkaard by mutual agreement, following a disappointing start of the season.

The former UEFA Cup champions had signed up the 48-year-old Dutchman, previously coach of Barcelona, Sparta Rotterdam and the Netherlands, in June 2009 on a two-year contract.

Galatasaray suffered a second defeat in a row at the weekend, falling to ninth place in the Turkish league table.